Jeweller and historian Caterina Degiacomi of Vic + Jo sources fine jewellery treasures from all over Europe. She then reimagines them as part of a fresh, new take on history, rendering them fashionable and wearable for the current day, whilst highlighting their artistic excellence and unique materials.
Degiacomi tells us about what inspired her to become a jeweller, and it all started with a little bejewelled pin from her grandmother.
Vic+Jo will be at The Jewellery Cut Live on February 16th & 17th, where she will also be giving a talk on modern jewellery upcycling (11.30am, Monday 17th February, 2020 – tickets from £10). Ahead of that, here’s a five-minute glimpse into her world.
Tell us a little bit about your brand.
“Vic + Jo is about honouring little fine jewellery treasures of our European heritage by making them protagonists in contemporary wearable pieces. Our jewellery is antique and new, minimal and luxury, timeless and fresh, classic and edgy. The pieces have a reassuring energy about them, you feel it when you wear them; this special energy of things that have been already handed down, thus having the power of not only being consumed but cherished and handed down again.”
What inspires your designs?
“My first inspiration is, of course, the little treasures I work with. I am regularly in awe of them, seeing their artistic excellence, elegance, craftsmanship and the materials, like the shine of a little natural pearl. In general, I am inspired by an aesthetic which is visually powerful and intellectually elegant; a combination which can be found in any field of expression ranging from nature to fashion, graphics and architecture.”
What made you want to become a jeweller?
“When I was 14, my beloved style icon, my grandmother, gave me a little gold pin with an amethyst and tiny little pearls around it, beautifully crafted. For me, it was the most beautiful thing in the world and she said that all her most beautiful jewellery was stolen in New York. If this little pin was so beautiful, how beautiful could the stolen jewellery possibly be? This question laid the seed.”
How are your jewels made?
“Every little treasure needs a ‘personal’ treatment to become its best contemporary version. That’s why I work with a range of different jewellery artisans, each one specialised in something else. The interactions on a piece range from classic bench work to high technology treatments – but always respectful [of the original jewel], of course. Whatever serves the piece best.”
Tell us about your latest collection.
“Collecting 19th century jewellery, I discovered ever returning themes like swords, crowns, bees, snakes, lily flowers, etcetera. I like to take up a theme and play with it, adapting the aesthetic and the sense to our time. Studying the lives of Queen Victoria and Empress Joséphine showed me how vulnerable they where as women fighting with exactly the same problems as we do, so it came naturally to think that Queens are women and women are queens, and that in the end we all deserve a crown.”
What can people expect to see from Vic + Jo at The Jewellery Cut Live?
“A joyous mix of Vic + Jo ready-to-wear jewellery, happy to be in the spotlight again.”
Meet Caterina Degiacomi and discover Vic + Jo at The Jewellery Cut Live on February 16th & 17th, 2020, at The Royal Institution during London Fashion Week. Click here for tickets and to get more information on the show head here
Book your ticket for Caterina Degiacomi’s talk on upcycling here.